Saturday, January 24, 2009

As Much Democracy As You Can Handle

In one more week, on January 31, 2009, Iraqis will vote in provincial elections. Some of the Iraqi bloggers have been following and commenting on the campaigns inside Iraq. Touta, for example, offers her readers a summary of some of the political rallies that she has attended so far ("Politicians in the ring.Round one.Ding!"). At one rally she listens to a candidate running as a secular Iraqi, who addressed the audience, as Touta reports here:
"My friends, religion has no place in politics. No place! If we want democracy, true democracy, then we let everyone freely practice their religion at home, while the country is run by educated, unbiased individuals."

"We need to take down the concrete barriers. Qabeehat. (ugly)"

An old man replies quietly: "Like you then." No one else heard comment.

I choke supressing laughter.
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Mohammed (Last of Iraqis) is one of those guys who, after a week of rain, would complain on the day the weather cleared because the brightness of the sun made him squint. So you can just imagine his interpretation of campaign politics inside Iraq ("Let's talk about candidates and elections"):
Thousands of people have became candidates, men and women who we never heard of, who have done nothing to Iraq, who haven't participated in any political, humanitarian or social events…wherever you go in Baghdad you would see big posters occupying every inch of every wall or concrete block with a photo (mostly) of an ugly person with an evil look in his eyes and a catchy slogan, more empty shells which if wanted to be filled it will be filled with the love of money, hatred to others and corruption and the last thing to care about is the good of Iraq and Iraqis….like the Shahristani (oil minister) with his recent techniques to satisfy his masters in Iran when he blocked the support of the black oil to the Iraqi bricks companies which lead to the absence of bricks in the market and that's when the Iranian brick companies saved the situation and started exporting their bricks to Iraq and fill the markets with!!! OH, thank you Iran for saving us, what a disgusting situation.
Yeah, what gives the right of these little people no one has ever heard of to run for office in Iraq?

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Salam Pax is back in Baghdad, reporting on what he found at Sistani's website:
What is interesting is in his advice for us on how to choose the best candidate to vote for. He doesn’t mention the need for the candidate to be a devout Muslim – shock horror – more important for al-Sistani is the candidate’s honesty and ability to serve the people.

He might be a beardy Ayatullah and all but, I tell you, given half a chance al-Sistani can be a cool beardy Ayatullah.
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DOMESTIC HUMOR:

What if you BUILT A SHRINE BUT NO ONE CAME?

Obama shrines unattended?

Say it ain't so!

///Rhuslancia, shouldn't you change your chant from Praise Obama! to Remainder Obama!?

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UPDATE: How is Iraq doing these days? Check out C.H.'s fine interview with Eye-Raki (Hayder Al-Khoei), who recently returned to Iraq for a visit.

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